With the busy home buying season upon us, chances are you could be looking for a good Realtor to help you with your next move. When checking out who to work with, make sure your agent is prepared to do more than just help you buy or sell your home. Make sure he or she is prepared and qualified to offer you these services as well.
- The truth even if it’s not what you want to hear. A good real estate agent should come to you with hard data that suggests a market price at which your home will sell. In that calculation, he or she will take into consideration comparable sales, the condition of your home, market conditions, and your timeline. A good agent should not just tell you what you want to hear in order to get the listing as that doesn’t do you any kind of service at all. I have to admit I’ve lost some listings because I’ve always believed that my first obligation is to provide sellers with a realistic picture of what their home is worth. It’s not always what they want to hear but it can save them months of frustration down the road.
- Referrals. Being in the business, I have a list of remodelers, plumbers, handymen and mortgage brokers that I know can deliver on their promises. This can save valuable time when getting your home ready to put on the market.
- Advice. While I always explain to my clients I am not an attorney, I have picked up a lot of “best practices” expertise in my 25 plus years experience selling homes in and around Lake Oswego. When it’s appropriate, I share that with my clients, saving them valuable time, and in many cases, money. For example, I recently listed a home for a couple who are separated and pending divorce. I advised them to hold off finalizing their divorce until selling to maximize their profit. As a couple, they are entitled to a $500,000 capital gains tax exclusion upon the sale of their house. Once they are divorced, the exclusion drops to $250,000 for each person individually. Definitely something to consider.
- Follow-through. Very few real estate transactions are cut and dried. Things come up. In the hands of an inexperienced or ineffective Realtor, those “things” can sometimes become deal breakers. A good agent goes the distance to ensure he or she follows through on any concerns that might hold up a deal. I recently sold a condo that had crawl space issues which were the Homeowner Association’s responsibility. The buyer wanted some assurance that the HOA would follow through on that. I made sure that the seller started the conversation with the HOA to make the buyer feel comfortable that work would be done in due time to her satisfaction. While I understood that this was standard practice and something the HOA would undertake, the buyer did not and so I took action to address his concerns.
- Home warranty recommendation. Another application of Murphy’s Law is that in many cases, the minute you sell your home, the water heater will die or the refrigerator goes out. New buyers don’t take the news very well but if they have a home warranty in place that came with the sale, they’ll get a new one to replace it leaving everybody happy. That’s why I’ve been instructing my sellers to buy a home warranty for over 16 years that goes with the sale of their home. It’s not unusual for me to hear from the home warranty companies that they have been to one of my listings or sales to do repairs or replace items—reinforcing my belief that this is good standard operating procedure and something that every good agent should be recommending.
If you are interested in moving, give me a call at 503.939.9801 or check my website. I’ve been helping people move in, move out and move on for over 25 years and would love to help you do the same.